Abstract for: Systems Modelling of New Media Services

Energy consumption has long been identified as a major sustainability issue through its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and the limited supply of non-renewable resources. Current research on energy consumption for online media distribution identifies server operations as a main contributor. Based on work with an online news-publishing group we explore the system dynamics of energy consumption in the distribution of media. Building on concepts developed in a causal loop model based on previous work we present a system dynamics model of energy consumption for online digital media distribution and explore a number of scenarios. According to the model we have developed the future dynamics of energy use for the delivery of media services are apparently bounded by three factors; i) the overall energy efficiencies deliverable by the ICT supply chain into the data centre, ii) the overall media “richness” of content and how that is effected by investment, mutualisation and content synergy, and iii) growth in the user base. Questions arising from the use of the abstractions for richness, synergy, and mutualisation in the modelling have opened up a profitable area of further work to explore.